The Evolution of Jesus in the Bible





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Uploaded on Sep 3, 2010

Liar, Lunatic or Lord ... or something else?

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User HConstantine pointed out to me that the water into wine miracle was the first miracle in John, not Mark. Not sure why I did that. I guess because it's my favorite miracle (number one in my mind!).

(2) User roohif correctly pointed out that I put Acts in the wrong place on the time line. Acts is believed to be written by the same author of Luke. Luke is a gospel and Acts deals with the events regarding the apostles after Jesus's death. It only makes sense that Acts follows Luke. It's probable that Acts was written between 90-100, some sources say later, and of course conservative estimates have it decades earlier.

(3) What Paul says or doesn't say about the Resurrection

I think this should go under "Clarifications," but I want to be clear that I'm not claiming that Paul doesn't address the resurrection. He clearly does. My point with his letters is that we don't get enough detail about Jesus. Think of it this way ... what if we never had the gospels (nor any substitute (gnostic, etc)? What would Christians claim to know about Jesus? Not very much.

(4) Paul may not have written II Thessalonians. There is a split among scholars as to whether this book was written by Paul, a follower, a huckster posing as Paul, etc. This doesn't really change anything with the video, but I wanted to point it out anyway.

Dating of the Gospels:

Here are the general parameters that I followed in the making of this video:

Mark: c. 68—73
Matthew: 80-85
Luke: c. 80-100, with a consensus around 85
John: 90--110 with the majority view being that it was written in stages

I am also fully aware of more conservative estimates placing the gospels much closer to the life of Jesus. However, the conservative estimates are in the extreme minority, and the dates provided here are the dates largely accepted by New Testament scholars. Should any of these dates fall out of that consensus, I will be more than happy to adjust accordingly. Please feel free to disagree, but understand for the sake of academic and intellectual honesty, I did try to give date ranges as opposed to specific years.

Authors of the Gospels

I didn't mention this in the video, but probably should have. I refer to Mark, Matthew, Luke & John as though the gospels were named after their authors. They weren't. I also refer to "Mark wrote this... Luke said this ...." However, it is agreed across the board by all scholars that we don't know who wrote the gospels. The names were given to each one at a later date.

The ending to Mark
There is a consensus among scholars that Mark originally ended at verse 8, and that everything after was an early addition.
Don't take my word for it. Look i up yourself. Start here and go for the more scholarly cites if you wish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16


The "Real" face of Jesus

Several are asking about the face of Jesus at the end (as well as in one of the timelines). It is a forensic depiction constructed by British scientists assisted by Israeli archeologists. See here:


While it's most likely NOT extremely accurate, it does show what the average person in Palestine looked like during that time. Jesus, if he really existed, was not a long-haired Caucasian.


For dating of the New Testament books:

Raymond E. Brown. An Introduction to the New Testament,

Stephen L. Harris, Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985

Bart Ehrman. (1) A Brief Introduction to the New Testament. Oxford University Press, USA. 2004. (2) The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader. Oxford University Press, USA. 2003. (3) Misquoting Jesus, Harper Collins, USA 2005 (4) Jesus Interrupted, HarperCollins, USA. 2009

For the dating of Paul's letters:
Pheme Perkins, Reading the New Testament: An Introduction (Paulist Press, 1988), pgs. 4-8


Bullfinch's Mythology, 1885

Here is a link to Praeparatio evangelica:

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